There’s a truck with a natural wine bar inside parked up in Manchester city centre for the summer.
Run by a group of four friends determined to “take something that’s been on a pedestal for so long, and [kick] it the f*ck off”, this is no imposing wine store. Far from it.
This is a place where everyone is made to feel welcome, no matter how great (or small) their wine knowledge.
As the lads behind the concept tell us, “The bodega is here to defuse that wine stigma. If you want red wine with fish do it, if you want to eat a big mac with a glass of orange, get it.”
Inspired by their love of hip-hop icons like Action Bronson and the all-encompassing community culture of New York’s bodegas, Vin De Bodega has been running for just over a year.
After launching a popular online-only wine delivery service during lockdown, founders Rick Farthing, Jack ‘Gus’ Surplus, Eoghan Neburagho and Razz Ashraf began hosting pop-ups across the city at different venues.
Now, they’ve parked up a truck beneath Quay Street’s ABC Buildings for the summer – dishing out handpicked low-intervention goods every Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 6pm.
All four have other jobs, having first started the Bodega as a passion project in 2020.
Between them, they have a mixture of hospitality experience – Rick and Eoghan have done nearly a decade in the industry, whilst we hear that Raz and Jack “haven’t had the pleasure of putting an apron on and doing a 12-hour shift frot of house.”
Still, they insist that having a team on both sides of the spectrum allows them to see things from different angles – and we’re inclined to agree. It’s no bad thing.
They told The Manc: “We select the wine that speaks to us. Not just the taste, but where it comes from, how it’s made, and who it’s made by. Not every wine we choose will appeal to everyone, but we’re confident in our taste.
“Wine’s known for being expensive (like expensivem expensive), and that alone adds to this ‘elitist’ view.
“I guess, when it comes to the Bodega, we try our best to keep the products on our level, what we’d say about this juice that’d make it appeal to us, and our friend groups, and their friend group”
And on the subject of how New York has influenced their concept, they add:
“We have all traveled out there and experienced the bodegas and how they operate, from the characters that pass through to the cheap meals that the block depends on. We just felt like Manchester and New York culture have a lot in common with each other.
“New York culture has always influenced us, from the music, the fashion and the food. But, the community culture of a bodega is like no other. It’s a neighbourhood institution where everybody is welcome, and that’s what we wanted the bodega to be.”
Adding that, for now, they’re not particularly fussed about launching a brick-and-mortar concept, they say that they’re on the lookout for more pop-up opportunities going forward – so watch this space.
You can find the Bodega truck at 21-23 Quay St, Manchester M3 4AE every Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 6pm.
Feature image – The Manc Eats
Pop Idol star Darius Campbell Danesh has been found dead, age 41
Former Pop Idol contestant and theatre star Darius Campbell Danesh has been found dead at the age of 41, his family has announced.
“Darius was found unresponsive in bed in his apartment room in Rochester, Minnesota, on August 11 and was pronounced dead in the afternoon by the local medical examiners’ office.
“The local police department have confirmed that there were no signs of intent or suspicious circumstances. The cause of his sudden death is unknown at this stage while medical examinations continue.
“We ask that you kindly respect our wishes for privacy at this time whilst we come to terms with the tragic loss of our son and brother.”
Featured image: ITV
A Japanese fine dining restaurant is opening in the former Randall & Aubin site
A new Japanese fine dining restaurant will open on Bridge Street in Manchester this October, bringing a theatrical ‘multi-sensory’ dining experience to the city.
Giving diners the chance to dine from specially created 7 and 11-course tasting menus or opt for a traditional ‘chef’s choice’ experience at its six-seat Omakase counter, bosses say it will offer a contemporary interpretation of Japanese dishes currently not seen outside of London.
Called MUSU, which translates as ‘infinite possibilities,’ the restaurant is the brainchild of Chef Patron Michael Shaw, who has worked at top eateries including Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons and Richard Neat’s eponymous restaurant in Canne.
Shaw has spent the last 18 months honing his passion for Japanese cuisine in preparation to open MUSU and will bring on Head Sushi Chef Andre Aguiar, who has trained under renowned Japanese sushi master YugoKato, to head up the kitchen.
When MUSU it opens its doors on Bridge Street on 6 October, diners will be treated to a new tasting menu concept that promises to deliver a ‘multi-sensory dining experience.’
Its menu is divided into three sections – Sentaku, Kaiseki and Omakase – giving diners the choice between ordering dishes a la carte style, opting for a set seven or eleven-course tasting menu, or entrusting the chef to create their ‘perfect menu.’
As for the new high-end Japanese restaurant’s design, MUSU’s multi-million-pound interiors will boast bespoke Italian furniture, subtle mood lighting and bespoke Geisha-inspired walls, with a bar made from Dekton stone, banana leaf patterned brass and onyx.